31 October 2007

School Appropriate

The kids can't just wear anything to school on Halloween. Each class has a theme and if they want to dress up, they need to adhere to their theme.

Because I didn't feel like putting a lot of time and effort into two costumes we threw together some class room themed costumes last night.

Madison's class theme was Peter Pan so she went as Tiger Lilly. The brown and the green material is left over from Chase's costume last year. She drew on the front of it with markers. She has a feather in the back of her headband, but it is kind of small so you can't see it.

Kai's class could go as a character from any of the stories they had talked about so far. He decided to go as Johnny Appleseed because then he could wear a pot on his head. He is wearing Chase's overalls. I wanted them to be too short, but when I put them on him they fit just fine, so I had to tighten the straps and roll up the pant legs. Then we made a pot out of duct tape. This is the face he made when I told him to smile.

30 October 2007

Teasers and Tricks

One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning is to watch the CBS Sunday Morning show. A while ago we saw a story about Stave Puzzles. I was completely enthralled. I have always loved puzzles. As a kid, I would to sneak downstairs at night to finish my moms puzzles before she woke up in the morning. As an adult, I'm sure, she just LOVED that. I don't dare ask her about it. As I child I figured she thought it was adorable and was in shock and awe of my fantastic puzzle skills. I'd hate to burst that bubble.

So My husband, being the wonderful person he is, surprised me with my first Stave puzzle. He skipped over the traditional and the teasers and went straight for the trick puzzle. He surprised me with the circus engine . I think I have come close to solving it a few times, but just can't quit get it. Its driving me crazy!

So now I have the boy . . . .

He is all sorts of incredible, and I mean ALL SORTS-- he can really drive you crazy. He likes to do things his way even when his way is, well, completely insane.

He doesn't stop talking. Yesterday I kept him home from school because he was sick. Because we would be together most of the day, I decided it would be fun to keep a tally of how many questions he asked. I tallied 300 around 1pm, and quit counting. 300 questions by 1pm while sick? Impressive? I think so!

He loves to build things. He sneaks boxes out of the recycle bin and hides them in his room so that he can make everything from robots to rocket ships out of them.

Needless to say, he has been having issues with Kindergarten. Apparently he doesn't do well with conformity-- go figure. I was concerned because I was afraid that he wouldn't ever be able to find a job that would work with his "out of the box" kind of thinking.

It just dawned on me today that I don't need to worry. He can design teaser puzzles when he is older. That way he can build things AND drive people crazy for the rest of his life. It'll be great!

27 October 2007

Small Fries

The kids and I are short. Madison and Chase are both hanging out at the fifth percentile for height. We don’t really know what percentile Kai is, because he has fallen below the fifth percentile, and apparently they don’t have a chart for people that short.

So, Friday I took the baby to the doctor for his four month check-up. He hit the fifth percentile for weight and the thirtieth for height. As the doctor was looking over his growth chart he said, “Wow! It looks like he’s going to be tall!” Then he quickly qualified it with, “. . . well, I mean for you guys.” Trying to see just how much of his foot would fit in his mouth he added, “. . . you know, sometimes it’s best to compare us against ourselves.”

26 October 2007

Why I Never Really Got Into Star Wars

I have seen most of the Star Wars movies. I do live in a house with 4 boys after all. I even recognize that they are classics, but I never really got into the Star Wars craze. Mostly because it attracts people like the following, and I am not one of those people. At least I like to think I'm not.

25 October 2007


I just got an email message from Mohammad Butts. I am pretty sure I don't know Mohammad Butts. I think I would remember that name. I decided to mark said email as spam. Mohammad, if I was wrong, you can try sending the message again.

Locking up the Kids

When Madison was three she answered the door to let the Fed Ex man in our house. She refused to come get me when he asked if she'd go get her mom. I happened to be in the back of the house using the blow drier and didn't hear the door. Finally, she agreed to take the paper to me and have me sign it. Imagine my surprise and confusion when she said, "mom the guy at the door says you need to sign this."

I went to the door embarrassed, and signed the paper all the while ranting about how I didn't hear the door and I didn't know she had answered, blah blah blah. All of which I am sure he didn't believe. I handed him back the paper and Madison says, "No, mom! You keep the pink copy!"

We installed a slide bolt on the door that afternoon. Madison was never one to take off, she just liked to let people in. She also enjoyed standing in the window and waving to the neighbor kids on their way home from school. She did it almost every day, sometimes with clothes, sometimes without.

Kai never let anyone in, though we did already have the slide lock at that point.

He was one of those little kids that was just beautiful. He had very blond hair with just a little bit of curl at the bottom and huge blue eyes. Every where we went he was admired by old ladies. They thought he looked like the Gerber baby and like to pinch his cheeks.

By the time he was three he was an expert at taking things apart, dumping things, and climbing in things. He used to try to shut himself in the dishcloth drawer. Of course he would need take all the dish cloths out first to make more room.

So now Chase is two and a half. This is one of my favorite ages. They are learning all sorts of new things, and showing you all the little details of their personalities. Before this, they were just really cute babies.

Chase doesn't let people in, but he like to go out. We have had to retrieve him from the driveway countless times. We finally turned our alarm system's chime on. Now every time a door is opened the alarm system says, "Front Door" or "Back Door." Its annoying, but necessary. So why not just buy a bunch of slide locks? Well he has also discovered stools.

But he isn't just an escaper. He also like to flush the toilets (particularly if you are in the shower), he likes to turn on all the faucets, and put all sorts of random things in his mouth. We have one room just off the kitchen that he gets into and causes all sorts of trouble. So I put one of those plastic covers for the door handle on it. And wouldn't you know, he's the only one of my kids who can open that door now.

23 October 2007

Why I Didn't Finish High School

People are always asking me if I'm really a high school drop out. The answer is, yes, I am. But I did finish college so it isn't as bad as it sounds.

When I was a freshman in high school my parents informed me that my dad was going to be going on sabbatical my senior year. This meant that I would be spending my senior year in Belgium. In order to not have to deal with a foreign school I figured I would try to finish 4 years of high school in 3 years. I took extra English and Math classes. I did well enough with my heavy load. By the end of my junior year I was only lacking 1 credit of PE and 1/2 a credit of world culture/geography.

I didn't think this was going to be a big deal. I figured I could take a swimming class and keep a journal while I traveled around Europe with my parents. Maybe even write a report. We had to have a special meeting with the principal to approve the plan. It was a no go. Even though my father was a professor at BYU he wasn't qualified to direct my studies. Now if he taught high school that would be different. Apparently he was just way to overqualified for the job. When we asked how they suggested I finish my schooling, they said I should just stay home.

Oddly enough my parents didn't think I should be left to my own devices at 17. Go figure. So as soon as we arrived in Belgium they enrolled me in a local school. It was a Catholic all girls school, where of course they spoke Flemish. I don't speak Flemish. All I needed, though, was to pass PE and 1 semester of geography, no big deal right? I could figure out that much.

It turns out I had a hard time in ALL my classes, even English. Yes, I has minor issues in my English class. I had to use British spelling and that threw me. PE wasn't just sports and running. One day we were expected run and jump off a bouncy thing over a pommel horse. I didn't participate that day.

One day in Math class the teacher got upset with me. I had misunderstood what we were supposed to be working on and was doing the wrong assignment. She was fed up and decided to malign me in front of the class. She got right up in my face and started yelling at me in Flemish. She said I was stupid and lazy and all sorts of other things. I ignored her. I pretended like she wasn't even there. The class thought it was hilarious and proclaimed me a hero at lunch. They couldn't believe I was so gutsy. I wasn't trying to be cool, I just didn't know what else to do. It was all pretty horrible, and I never went back.

Why am I bringing this up? Well recently I was volunteering at my kids school. I was asked to make some copies and on my way to the copy room I saw two construction workers. It is a new building and so there are construction workers around finishing up minor details like exits signs, sidewalks, and the playground. As I passed them I heard one of the workers telling the other that he was stupid, and he didn't understand how he could live here when he didn't speak English. He went on and on. The other worker just went on with what he was doing and pretended like the first worker wasn't even there. It was pretty horrible and my pent up anger from when I was in Belgium came bubbling up. I told the first worker he was an ass. He seemed surprised, but didn't respond.

I complained at the front office. I'm not sure what I expected them to do, I'm not sure what I wanted them to do. I told them that I didn't feel my children should have to be exposed to blatant racism in the halls of the school. They told me they had no control over the workers (uh . . aren't they paying them?) and suggested that I take my kids aside and talk to them about things they might have heard. Ya. Okay.

21 October 2007

First Snow

The first snow of the season should ALWAY be celebrated with hot chocolate and whipped cream!

19 October 2007

Sugar and Spice and all Things Nice . . .

I just spent the last 20 minutes rescuing a garden snake from a window well in my backyard.

As you know, I'm a little on the short side. My drivers license says I'm 5'1" but that's about as accurate as what I listed for my weight. I figure all the REALLY pertinent information is correct, my age for example. Besides, the only time I use my license is when I'm carded for R rated movies--which is happening less and less.

Needless to say, climbing in and out of the window well was no small task. But really I only have myself to blame for the incident.

Just before school started our ward went on a Mother/Daughter camping trip. I wasn't excited about going but Maddie REALLY wanted to go. Madison is somewhat of a girly-girl. She comes by it honestly, though not through me. However, the love of fashion is evident in the family line. In fact, I am contemplating sending her to San Fransisco to live with her aunt when she hits puberty.

Though it took a while to pack for the trip (Madison needed to bring one of everything, just in case) we went. During dinner I was talking to another woman in the ward who had a daughter who was Madison's age. When I suggested they play together the other mom said, "Well, I don't know. My daughter likes snakes and stuff." I was confused. Madison may call her purple socks "grape" and her brown socks "chocolate" but does that mean she wont touch a snake?

About two weeks ago "the boys" came over. You know, the ones that often wait in the driveway for her return from school . . . . They were all in the backyard and came across one of our many garden snakes. I came out to check on the commotion just as one of them asked Madison if she wanted to hold it. She looked a little horrified. Resorting to peer pressure, I said, "Come on Maddie, snakes are COOL. You should totally hold it!" So she did (peer pressure is an awesome power that must be used responsibly).

This afternoon she had a friend from school over and while they were playing in the backyard they found another snake. At first her friend was a little horrified, but Maddie caught it and coaxed her friend into touching it. After a while I told them to put the snake down and let it go home. Instead, they put it down and started following it around the yard. The snake became a bit disoriented and fell through a hole in one of the grates that cover our window wells. The girls started freaking out, afraid the snake was hurt, or would die because he couldn't get out. So of course, I got to climb into the window well and rescue the snake.

So, good news! Madison can play with the snake girl in the ward. AND not only does she catch snakes, she even found an old snake skin. Whoo hoo!

17 October 2007

I Hate Parents and Children! Who Knew?

I'm kind of tired of people making assumptions about my educational and political beliefs. Now in all fairness I have tried to steer clear of politics. I did vote in the last election. Though I was attacked for being a democrat during the process. Why can't we just all get along?

At our last back to school night I was approached by one of the other moms. She asked me about my feelings on school vouchers, not wanting to engage in a political discussion I told her I didn't have a strong opinion either way.

She then said, "Well, I am sure you will vote for them. We send our kids to a charter school and so obviously we care more about education that most people. And because we care so much about education it only makes sense that we would be for vouchers." I responded with a dismissive, "Huh."

I always suspected I was better than the regular people who send their kids to the regular elementary school (some of which happen to be my siblings). Anyhow, I'm glad my suspicions have been confirmed. It just feels good to know for sure.

Last week Madison came home with a bunch of papers from her school. You know the lunch menu for next month, a notice about parent teacher conferences, that sort of thing. As I was "filing" these papers I came across one about school vouchers. It started out something like this (I don't have the exact words because the paper has been "filed"), "Because Freedom Academy is a public school we do not take sides on the voucher issue. However we feel it is important you know all the facts so you can make an informed decision" sounds good so far, right? The entire rest of the paper was full of pro-voucher arguments. I was expecting them to also have some con-voucher arguments, thus rendering it neutral, alas it was not to be.

Yesterday while walking my kids home from school, I saw a sign in someone's yard that read, "I am for vouchers! I care about parents and children!" I believe the implication here (though a logical fallacy) is that if I'm not for vouchers then I don't care about parents and children. Do you think that means I can stop doing laundry? Because personally I'm not for vouchers, so if I don't care about my family, why do I keep doing the laundry? In fact I think I'm going to stop doing most of the household chores. Whew, what a load off.

I say, lets vote already! That way we can start insulting each other about something else. The voucher thing is just getting old.

12 October 2007

I'm an Adult!

This morning the boy was standing around the kitchen in his underwear. He doesn't like to wear clothes. Madison had grown out of the naked phase by this age, but he is still reveling in it. He often answers the door in his underwear--I don't think the home teacher is going to be bringing his 7 year old daughter with him next time. I know that most kids go through the naked phase, I'm just not sure that boys ever grow out of it.

As he was contemplating if he should put his school clothes on, like I asked him to, he took the waistband of his underwear and pulled it up as high as possible without causing injury. He started laughing and said, "Look mom, I'm and adult!"

So it's 9am and I've already been insulted by, puked on, and peed on by my boys. You gotta love 'em.

Oh and sorry no picture, Marc is apparently cracking down on laws regarding the underage.

10 October 2007

Yet Another Random Act of Destruction

I think we are going to be putting the black bead board up over our ugly wall paper sooner than we had planned. Oh and yes, there are two layers of ugly wallpaper. Cuz . . . why not?

I am also going to need to find somewhere else to store the garbage bags . . .

. . . and maybe hide the stools.

We've had a busy morning. Notice the outfit change? The day is just getting better and better.

The Green House Effect on Carrots

I was planning to blog on the phallic carrot my friends grew in their backyard. That was until I read this, “Global warming report gives grim outlook for state” in the Trib this morning. Apparently Utah is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other state in the nation. Perhaps an explanation for the carrot?

Well, way to go Utah, it’s a rough road to the top. I’d like to say that I have tried to do my part by making sure that every light in the house is on at all times. I also refuse to walk anywhere. Besides sonic doesn’t take walk-ups at the drive-thru, and I have to satisfy my Dr. Pepper with lime addiction somewhere. Congratulations to me and my many many greenhouse gas emitting neighbors.

Apparently our current conditions will bless us with fewer frosts, a longer growing season, heat waves, and drought. That’s cool; I never really liked skiing anyway, or water for that matter . . . like I said I’m a Dr. Pepper girl. Besides now we can change our license plate slogan from “Ski Utah” to “The New Nevada.” Speaking of which, now my cold averse friends in Vegas (you know who you are) can move back to Utah. Don’t worry guys I’ll keep my eye on the housing market for you.

09 October 2007

Death of a Scarecrow

Today was a momentous occasion. I finally threw away the scarecrow. It was just time for him to go. It wasn't personal. It wasn't even the fact that he lost his hair during the move. I have no beef with baldness. I do find the hairless cat a little creepy and the hairless rat quite disturbing.

Really what it comes down to is the fact that the scarecrow was just ugly. I'm not sure if I originally bought it because I was being cheap, or if I had a momentary lapse in decorational judgment. Unfortunately, it was probably both. Anyway, it is time to move on. This year I purchased a skull and added worms climbing in and out of its eye sockets. Don't worry Beck, I know . . . one skull at a time.

08 October 2007

Bald Bald Baby

I used to keep Chase's hair pretty short. I would give him a buzz using the long two attachment then let it grow out a little. However, lately I have let it grow out A LOT. His hair was ridiculously long. I kept saying I would cut it, but I've been, well . . . busy.

Last Saturday the boy took the situation into his own hands. By the time Mike found him he had already cut three chunks out of his hair. I got out the clippers and set it on the long two. Unfortunately that wasn't short enough. Nether was the short two. I couldn't find a one. I did find the "blend" attachment, and after using that the chopped sections were no longer visible. But now he is one very bald baby.

We have decided to take advantage of the bald situation and make him Anng the Avitar for Halloween. We figure we can make Anakin Tiberius Rex (aka Davis) Momo. I don't think we are going to let Davis ride on Chase though. Mike thinks he is going to be Appa. I cool with that, so long as I don't have to make his costume.

02 October 2007

Good Thoughts

My two year old just picked me a flower for the first time.

Okay, so it was from one of the flower pots on my front porch.
But hey, it's the thought that counts right?